Gen. 3 Rear Brake Lights

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Care, Maintenance & Troubleshooting' started by RichardScarry21, Nov 6, 2016.

  1. RichardScarry21

    RichardScarry21 Junior Member

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    Just bought a used Prius Gen 3 (2011) and the driver's side rear brake light is out. The entire strip is not out, as they light witht he lights on, but it doesn't seem to get any brighter when the brake is depressed.


    Toyota quoted me 500 for a new install of the entire brake light assembly. My question is...is it really that much for a rear brake light? If I'm spending that much...any suggestions on set of aftermarket tail lights? It doesn't look that difficult to install. I'm not a mechanic, but I've worked on motorcycles and done some semi major jobs on my Mazda 6 (clutch and various body repairs).
     
  2. tankyuong

    tankyuong Senior Member

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    50 on eBay
     
  3. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    Dealerships will fix only by replacing with brand new parts. I figured this out on a stripped oil pan plug. Dealer would only replace the pan with new, which would have the exact same problem of weak aluminum threads. An independent shop offered a steel insert brazed onto the original pan, a much more robust solution for half the price. Spouse ran into the exact same issue a few years later, on a different brand.

    Find a used part elsewhere.
     
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  4. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Underfoot

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    Who was installing the drain bolt?
     
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  5. Coast Cruiser

    Coast Cruiser Senior Member

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    I like the Gen3 brake lights the best out of all the Prius. Nice and big and bright. I wish my new 2016 had those brake lights. But $500??? They have to be kidding. Can you not just simply pop out the light bulbs and replace them? Man, I am starting to miss my Camry every day. :ROFLMAO:

    Richard, what kind of gas mileage do you get in that cold Montana weather? Thanks.
     
  6. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    Multiple dealers and quick change shops had been changing oil on that car, depending on my convenience. So I wasn't able to pin the blame on any specific one.

    When the exact same issue occurred on my spouse's car several years later, blame was much easier -- the car had never been serviced anywhere except at the dealer. Unfortunately for us, I was not reachable by phone that afternoon, so she didn't know any better than to take the dealer's solution of a replacement pan. But we have never set foot on that dealership's lot again. Ever since, her car has gone to that same independent shop. BTW, that car is nearing its 28th birthday.

    It was originally a Honda/Acura-focused indy shop, but customer demand made them widen their coverage. Now my Prius goes there too.
     
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  7. High Mileage

    High Mileage Active Member

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    Richard, I would go with what other members say and purchase one off Ebay. When I worked at the dealerships (16 years) we were not allowed to install used parts due to warranty and reliability concerns. But purchasing a used taillight on Ebay from a wrecked verhicle is a perfect way to repair your car. I would not purchase an aftermarket lamp personally, but a factory part from a totaled vehicle is good for me. They are not difficult to remove.
     
  8. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Underfoot

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    If they're the only ones changing it, they should have sprung for the cost, and read the riot act to their mechanics. Yeah, I know...
     
  9. Rebound

    Rebound Senior Member

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    You can't just replace the bulb? I didn't know they built them that way. Man, that is just lame!
     
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  10. Coast Cruiser

    Coast Cruiser Senior Member

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    It was very strange, on my Camry the left rear brake light would go out about 3 times per year. And the right side brake light once a year. But a very simple fix… Open the trunk, and then pop open the little cardboard light bulb cover, and install a new $3 bulb.

    Why do I get the feeling, I am going to hate my Prius when a brake light burns out!? Those LEDs better last 3000 years! :LOL:
     
  11. Rebound

    Rebound Senior Member

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    LED's usually outlive the car. Maybe when they're used as headlights it's different, but typical LED lights last many years of continual operation.
     
  12. RichardScarry21

    RichardScarry21 Junior Member

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    Yeah, I bought some aftermarket replacements off eBay. They look a little better in my opinion, and they were way cheaper and a breeze to install.
     

    Attached Files:

  13. BradC

    BradC Member

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    How do you install it? The passenger side brake light on mu 2014 Prius is out. Has been for a while, actually. I've been putting it off because a dealer had quoted me somewhere around $200 to replace it, so I figured there had to be a cheaper way to do it myself.

    Also, was there a particular eBay seller who you found to be good and reliable for this?

     
  14. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    Here's a video on replacing the drivers side:



    Hope that helps(y).
     
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  15. BradC

    BradC Member

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    Thanks! Looks like everyone on eBay sells them in pairs. I found this place, Go-Parts, that sells a single brake light for the passenger side. Anyone have experience with this site?

    (I don't have permissions to post links yet, even though I was able to post a link to an Amazon page in another thread.)

     
  16. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Underfoot

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    @Raytheeagle 's posted video, looks to be close to realtime, is under 8 minutes duration. What the heck! :mad:

    Was the $200~ purely for labour?

    That's a keeper btw, gonna download that. My cheat sheet:

    Download Youtube videos:

    1. Right-click video and select "Copy video URL" *
    2. Open VLC Media Player
    3. Pulldown: Media>Open Netork Stream, and paste URL. (Video will play)
    4. Pause video, Pulldown: Tools>Codec INformation, copy content of "Location" field.
    5. Paste content into a browser address window. IE will immediately ask you choose your download options. With FireFox it will start playing, you can right-click and choose "save video as".

    * Note, open video in original location, at youtube. Also, saved video will have extension .webm. You can convert to mp4 with something like HandBrake.
     
    #16 Mendel Leisk, Apr 26, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2017
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  17. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    It's the experts at juice hybrids though;).

    So the "experienced" help at the dealers can't possibly compete:(.

    I'm sure they would give it their best though(y).
     
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  18. BradC

    BradC Member

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    I think that was the cost of the part, before adding in labor, but I don't remember. (Yeah, I've let that go longer than I should have. They give out "fix it" tickets here in CA for stuff like that -- I've avoided getting one, but I'm sure it's only a matter of time.)

     
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  19. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    Check out TLS auto recyclers or Rancho Toyota recycling.

    Currently at Rancho they had 20 Prii showing in inventory. Some are Gen2's, but it's changing all the time.

    Toyota Prius Used Parts

    If you get the "fix it" ticket, might be a less expansive way to go.
     
  20. BradC

    BradC Member

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    If anyone is curious, this is the part I bought. I'm about to use the video above to install it. Hope all goes well!

     
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